He hasn’t even been confirmed yet by the Florida state Senate but Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Governor Ron DeSantis‘s new Surgeon General, on Wednesday signed an executive order that changes state policy on school attendance for students who have been exposed to COVID-19.
The order, which replaces an August 6 order by Dr. Ladapo’s predecessor, declares that students who have been exposed to COVID-19 can continue attending school in-person, as long as they are asymptomatic. It also repeatedly states that parents have sole discretion on how children are educated – in person or virtually – and on masks, effectively eliminating any locally-ordered mask mandates.
“The school boards in Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, Alachua and Leon counties [had] challenged the Aug. 6 rule, which did not include the new provision about parents or legal guardians having ‘sole discretion’ about opting out of school mask requirements,” the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reports.
Those lawsuits are now effectively null and void because of the new order.
Dr. Ladapo, who opposes mask and vaccine mandates, has likened the focus on getting Americans vaccinated to a religious obsession, and supports treatment of COVID-19 with drugs that are neither approved for use against the coronavirus nor have been proven to be effective – namely the livestock-dewormer Ivermectin and the malaria-drug hydroxychloroquine. He also appeared in the infamous viral video with a discredited doctor mocked as the “Demon Sperm” physician.
Here’s the new emergency rule by Fla. Surgeon General Joe Ladapo…signed this morning. pic.twitter.com/8axcD3ywHb
— Jim Rosica (@JimRosicaFL) September 22, 2021
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‘QAnon Justice’: Clarence Thomas Under Fire as He Suggests COVID Vaccines Are Derived From Cells of ‘Aborted Children’
In a dissenting opinion published Friday the nation’s far-right Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, falsely claims that every COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. was “developed using cell lines derived from aborted children.”
As Politico reports, this is not accurate.
Thomas dissented in the Court’s decision to not take up a religious right case filed against New York State’s order requiring all health care workers to be vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus that to date has killed well over one million Americans.
“They object on religious grounds to all available COVID–19 vaccines because they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children,” Justice Thomas wrote.
“Cells obtained from elective abortions decades ago were used in testing during the Covid vaccine development process, a practice that is common in vaccine testing,” Politico notes. There is no human embryonic material in COVID vaccines.
“Justice Thomas has already proven that he is unfit to serve as a Supreme Court Justice,” said U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky on Twitter. “Spreading false information about a lifesaving vaccine is further evidence that he must either resign or be removed.”
Veteran journalist Katie Couric tweeted simply, “This man needs help.”
“The cells are grown in a laboratory and were derived from a few elective abortions performed more than three decades ago,” National Geographic wrote last year in response to the rise in attempts to obtain religious exemptions to the COVID vaccines. “These same cell lines are also used to test and advance our understanding of several routine drugs, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin, and they continue to be used for treatment research in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and hypertension.”
Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali accused Justice Thomas of being “a QAnon Supreme Court Justice.”
Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, both conservatives, joined Justice Thomas’ dissent.
Texas Attorney General Says He’s ‘Willing and Able’ to Defend Law Banning Sodomy if Supreme Court Reverses Ruling
Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton says he is “willing and able” to defend his state’s law banning sodomy, which was struck down in 2003 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas, should the court revisit it as at least one conservative justice has urged.
Responding to several questions about Lawrence v. Texas Tuesday on News Nation, Paxton said, “look my job is to defend state law and I’ll continue to do that. That is my job under the Constitution and I’m certainly willing and able to do that.”
Attorneys General are not required to defend laws they believe are discriminatory or unconstitutional, as then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in 2014, before the Supreme Court found same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage.
Asked if he would go even further, perhaps providing a test case for the Supreme Court to test the state’s sodomy ban, Paxton said, “I’d have to take a look at it,” as the Houston Chronicle reports.
“This is all new territory for us so I’d have to how the Legislature was laid out and whether we thought we could defend it. Ultimately, if it’s constitutional, we’re going to go defend it.”
On Friday Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas appeared to target LGBTQ people.
“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote on Friday, as NBC News reports. “Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”
NBC News explains that “Griswold was a 1965 Supreme Court decision that established the right for married couples to buy and use contraceptives. It became the basis for the right to contraception for all couples a few years later. Lawrence was a 2003 Supreme Court decision that established the right for consenting adults to engage in same-sex intimacy. Obergefell was a 2015 Supreme Court decision to establish the right for same-sex couples to be married.”
Mississippi House Speaker Wants 12 Year Old Rape Victims of Incest to Give Birth to their Father’s Children
The Mississippi Republican Speaker of the House says there should be no exception to the state’s ban on abortion now that the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the five-decade-old Roe v Wade ruling. Asked specifically about 12-year-old girls who are victims of incest, Speaker Philip Gunn repeatedly stated his “personal belief” is “life begins at conception.”
“What about the case of a 12-year-old girl who was molested by her father or uncle?” an Associated Press reporter, Emily Wagster Pettus, asked the Speaker on Friday, as the Mississippi Free Press reports.
Mississippi’s ban on abortion “does not include an exception for incest,” Gunn replied, as the Free Press’ Ashton Pittman reports. “I don’t know that that will be changed.”
Asked if “the Legislature should revisit” that part of the law, the Speaker responded, “Personally, no. I do not.”
“I believe life begins at conception. Every life is valuable. And those are my personal beliefs,” Speaker Gunn insisted.
Another reporter pressed Gunn further.
“So that 12-year-old child molested by her family members should carry that pregnancy to term?” Daily Journal reporter Taylor Vance asked.
“That is my personal belief. I believe life begins at conception,” the Speaker repeated.
Gunn concluded by saying he did not want his remarks to overshadow the significance of the Supreme Court’s nearly unprecedented decision, reversing a civil right. He said members of the Mississippi House of Representatives were “going to celebrate that today.”
Watch the Speaker’s remarks below or at this link.
Here’s the moment when Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn told journalists that he believes even 12-year-old girls raped by their fathers and uncles should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term because “every life is valuable.”https://t.co/gCzlfG1MmN pic.twitter.com/LJU5aWhVfF
— Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) June 29, 2022
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